Just to be clear: I was obsessed with 90 Day Fiancé well before the Vanderpump Rules kids discovered it. I don’t know why that matters to me, but it does. Very much. And with that said, surprise!, I’m now recapping 90DF. It took some serious arm twisting (and a few hours chained to Tamara’s radiator) but I’m finally ready to write about my private obsession. If you’re not watching, now’s the perfect time to start. Last week’s Season 6 Premiere introduced us to a whole new batch of Americans looking for love overseas. By dangling a green card via the Fiancé visa process, our sad sack compatriots attempt to lure younger, better looking partners desperate for the American dream. Since this is reality TV, the pathos and heartache is replaced by levels of delusion usually reserved for soap operas (and Bravo). It’s the show that everyone is talking about. You know you’re going to end up watching so you might as well join us. Or you could just watch Stassi and Beau watch it…
Overgrown party boy Jonathan is making a killing in real estate. He had no plans to settle down until he met fiery latina Fernanda. He’s been paying for her apartment, college, and living expenses for mumblemumblemumble years. Once her K1 visa was approved, he bought her “new boobies.” In case you need more proof that Jonathan is a douche, he uses the word boobies. Then giggles. Total nightmare. Fernanda is insanely jealous of Jonathan’s past, probably because he’s “robbing her of her youth.”
Previous dating issues: Jonathan was a college baseball star and has been swimming in kitty kat ever since
Where they met: Mexican vacation
Age difference: 13 years
How many days spent in the same time zone before engagement: The math is fuzzy due to Fernanda’s age
Worried friends/family: His former wingwoman (and probable friend with benefits) seems put off at the
pedophelia age difference
Last week, Jonathan brought Fernanda home and their 90 day marriage window opened. Despite Jonathan getting rid of everything he owned so Fernanda would never have to see, touch or smell anything related to his past, she found a pair of his ex’s panties. It led to the biggest fight of their relationship, spanning two whole episodes. Realizing how isolated she is from everyone she knows, Fernanda finally decides to forgive Jonathan. Newly recommitted, the love birds set out for a fancy dinner party with Jonathan’s adult friends. She’s nervous to make a good impression and finds the North Carolina accent challenging. TLC tries to create controversy by having them discuss the age difference and US/Mexico politics. Jonathan’s friend are nice, normal people so they refuse to take the bait. Fernanda brings out her most mature charm and they all seem won over. Anyway, it’s just Jonathan. No one expected him to get married in the first place. So what of he has a divorce or three.
Bartender Ashley is a self-described “strong woman” so you know she’s needy and desperate. Jay is overly sexualized, bragging about losing his virginity at 8 and dating older women for money. Neither partner seems to care how their marriage will impact Ashley’s young children. Momma wants her boy toy.
Previous dating issues: Ashley was cheated on (a lot)
Where they met: Jamaican vacation
Age difference: 11 years
How many days spent in the same time zone before engagement: 8
Worried friends/family: Ashley’s friend overheard Jay boasting about cheating on her but “she doesn’t have proof, only her words”
Ashley races to Jamaica for Jay’s visa interview. If all goes as planned, she’ll be flying home with her fiancé. But Jay’s interview is no slam dunk. In countries with large amounts of marriage fraud, the visa process is intense and difficult. If he gets denied, the relationship is over. So, no pressure. Luckily, Ashley has a completed marriage binder, full of photos, receipts and affidavits proving their undying love. Jay teaches us that Jamaican men are romantic, have a heavy sack and come tall. Ashley tells us her plan for an enduring marriage is sex on demand. How could any nation deny the love these two share? They don’t. Jay gets his visa and Ashley’s getting married. As the reality of what she’s done sinks in, Ashley wonders if it’s time to break her third engagement.
Software Engineer Colt loves video games and his cats Baby Girl, Cookie Dough, and Sugar. He shares his home (and car) with his mother but it’s unclear who takes care of who. Larissa is a skilled gold digger that can’t hide her disgust at her fiancé. But the joke’s on her: Colt pinches all the pennies. No matter how much she rages, pouts, or wields emotional blackmail, Colt’s stands firm. Wasting money isn’t rational.
Previous dating issues: Dating American women is hard
Where they met: International dating site
Age difference: A shocking 2 years
How many days spent in the same time zone before engagement: 5
Worried friends/family: Cousin John thinks Colt must have a 12” penis to get a girl like Larissa
Colt worries about his first best friend, Mother. Instead of addressing her feelings about their change in living arrangements, they share an awkward, staged scene figuring out how to keep from walking in on each other. Debbie acknowledges she needs to disengage and allow Colt a life but it’s going to be a slow process. Colt greets Larissa at the airport and she barely musters a smile. She’s gobsmacked he didn’t bring flowers, chocolates, something. Colt tries to enjoy their icy reunion but every conversation returns to his lack of flowers. Hot, depressing Vegas does nothing to lift her spirits. But the silent car ride home gives her plenty of time to update her life goals: marriage, green card, then a car with AC. I predict throwing Mother a bon voyage party will soon top the list.
Bootleg Kardashian Kalani is from Real Housewives of Orange County territory. Her Samoan father told his daughters to marry white guys so naturally she got knocked up by a foreigner. Being Mormon made the unwed pregnancy especially awkward. Her family hates Asuelu. Maybe it’s because Kalani lied about cheating to garner sympathy. Maybe it’s because he’s Samoan. Either way, entitled princess Kalani is determined to make it work without losing her family’s financial support. Expect baby Oliver to be used as a pawn.
Where they met: Samoan vacation
Age difference: 6 years
How many days spent in the same time zone before
engagement pregnancy: Maybe 8
Worried friends/family: Kalani’s sister thinks Asuelu got her pregnant to get a green card
On her 30th birthday, Kalani prepares for the arrival of her fiancé (and baby daddy) Asuelu. Her entire future as an acceptable married lady rides on the next 3 months. It’s a lot. As Asuelu emerges from the airport crowds, I’m struck by how young he looks. He reminds me of a huge baby duck, waddling towards his love with a huge, dopey smile. He sings to Kalani, wrapping her in a lei. Before she can react, he whips off his shirt, ties on a sarong and performs a welcome dance. He jumps, shouts, slaps himself. Kalani is horrified by the display of Sam-wa pride but the rest of us fall in love. An airport worker offers to take him if Kalani doesn’t. Asuelu walks out of the airport, triumphant and barefoot. He is officially the best of Season 6.
As someone who has never left Samoa, Asuelu is impressed by everything. The roads are so wide. The airbnb is so fancy. The door key pad is so clever. But mostly he’s excited to start his family with Kalani. She explains they complement each other because she’s serious and he’s silly. He says it’s because she’s the hardest fiancée and he’s the easiest. They’re not wrong. The first family member he meets is also the easiest: mom. Asuelu’s sweetly genuine greeting completely wins her over but things aren’t so easy with Oliver. No matter how often he Facetimed with his son, the baby doesn’t know him. Kalani is sweet and encouraging. For the first time I see her trying to make something work instead of just whining about it. This relationship might have a chance. At least until Kalani’s father and sister get involved,
Former Marine Eric lives in a crappy apartment with a roommate, his 19-year old daughter. I say roommate because that’s what it’s called when two people split rent and utilities. After too many bad experiences with American women, Eric was ready to move to the middle east to fight Isis. Instead, he placed an ad looking for someone who wanted to move to the US. Leida popped right up. Med school grad, teacher, model, actress, 5th runner up at Miss Indonesia 2009, she seems too good to be true. And Leida is rich, bitch. Like cashing Peter F Gontha checks rich. It turns out Eric has omitted key details about his lower middle class lifestyle, as one does in a mature relationship. Hopefully Leida will be too distracted fighting his court ordered child support to notice.
Previous dating issues: American women don’t like Eric
Where they met: International dating site
Age difference: 11 years
How many days spent in the same time zone before engagement: 2
Worried friends/family: Eric’s family is genuinely confused why Leida is leaving the sweet life in Indonesia for him.
Leida is desperate to get away from her controlling family. She arrives in the US with her son Allessandro and completes one of the better acted airport reunions I’ve seen on this show. Eric thinks it’s love. Her sister Reina, sent by the family to decide if Eric’s life is good enough for their princess, sees the performance for what it is. Eric doesn’t want the family to see his hovel in Wisconsin so he meets them in New York. Leida is ready for the Four Seasons but Eric has something cheaper in mind: a dingy rental cabin in Pennsylvania. Leida is pissed but reins herself in. If she makes a fuss in front of Reina, she’s on the first flight back to Jakarta. She white knuckles her way through breakfast without maids, cooks and drivers. The level of catfishing these two are doing on each other is astounding. Reina worries Eric doesn’t know how awful Leida is. She doubts her sister’s ability to care for her son. But she demands that Eric prove himself to the family. I’d be more worried about how quickly Eric flares up when confronted, but that’s just me.
Finally we get the last couple. High school dropout Steven was all about party after party after party. His parent’s kicked him out at 16 and he’s been couchsurfing ever since. The best times of his life took place in Ocean City, Maryland’s Jersey Shore. But everything in his life changed when he met Olga. It was the kind of love that quickly turns into an unplanned pregnancy and long distance parenting. Except Steven, who lost his dad when he was 7, don’t play that game. He’s going to be the father he lost, the father he wished he had. He’s going to bring his family home, to the United States. Somehow. Someway. Hopefully they don’t require a home. Phase One of his brilliant plan is flying to Russia for the birth of his son. The only family willing to film with him are his hippy grandparents. They give him gruff love and encouragement but remind us he’s an immature mess. Steven thinks the baby is a happy accident. Maybe it will led him to love of his life. I guess anything is possible.
Previous dating issues: They’re both too young to have much history
Where they met: Ocean City, Md
Age difference: None
How many days spent in the same time zone before
engagement pregnancy: A whopping month and a half (good going, kid)
Worried friends/family: Grandmother worries Trump’s Russian boner will impact Olga’s K1 visa
Next week: Ashley and Jay land in America; Steven and Olga prepare for their baby’s arrival; Larissa meets her new roommate: Colt’s mother.